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Nearby schools add counselors after Texas church shooting

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) - The Latest on the church shooting in Texas (all times local):
    
8:10 a.m.
    
School districts surrounding a South Texas town where a gunman killed 26 people at a church have added counselors to help comfort children, their families and staff.
    
Sutherland Springs is a town of about 400 that does not have its own school. Nearby districts offered messages of caring and concern Monday, a day after the gunfire. Officials say the victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.
    
Superintendent Sherri Bays, of the Floresville Independent School District, wrote: "Our hearts are breaking for the families of the deceased and injured."
    
District spokeswoman Kim Cathey says some Sutherland Springs children attend Floresville ISD schools. Cathey had no immediate information on whether any victims were from the district.
    
Similar messages of prayers and support were offered by the Stockdale ISD and the La Vernia ISD.
    
7:45 a.m.
    
A sheriff says the former in-laws of a man suspected of killing 26 people at a Texas church attended services there "from time to time."
    
Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. told CNN Monday morning that the former in-laws weren't in attendance Sunday when the shooting occurred. He says it wasn't clear why the gunman picked that day for the shooting.
    
The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.
    
Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.
    
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7:05 a.m.
    
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is suggesting there may have been a connection between the gunman who shot and killed 26 people in a South Texas community and the Baptist church where the slayings happened.
    
Abbott tells ABC's "Good Morning America" he expects people will learn about any such link "in a few days." He said he didn't want to go further, saying "law enforcement is looking very aggressively into this."
    
"I don't think this was just a random act of violence," Abbott told anchor George Stephanopoulos. But when pressed to elaborate on his connection theory, the governor replied that "it's very important that law enforcement have the ability ... to tie the loose ends of this investigation up."
    
He called the man, identified by a U.S. official and one in law enforcement as Devin Kelley, "a very deranged individual."
    
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3:30 a.m.
    
Authorities say a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a small South Texas church, killing 26 people who ranged in age from 5 to 72.
    
The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.
    
Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.
    
Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. described the scene inside the church as "terrible."
    
Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the attack.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 


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